With the recent rise in fraudulent cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges now plaguing app stores, it is safe to say cybercrime has taken a new turn. More than ever, scammers are going to greater lengths to acquire other people’s crypto.
According to a 2021 Crypto Crime Report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, scams topped the list of crypto crimes in 2020. Crypto thieves made away with about $2.7 billion. The report states that the number of victims rose 48% from the previous year.
Watch out for fake wallet apps
Fake cryptocurrency wallet apps have multiplied on popular app stores including the Apple store and the Google Play store. Scammers constantly repackage fake wallet apps into different forms, imitating different companies so as to make it past the app stores’ security.
Trezor is one major brand that has recently been impersonated by crypto scammers. A fake Trezor app was created with the intent of stealing users’ passphrases and private keys through phishing. When the hardware wallet maker found out, it warned its users about the fake app which had already been downloaded by at least 1,000 people at the time.
Verifying the authenticity of crypto wallets
As a user, before you download or register with any cryptocurrency wallet, it's important to verify its authenticity and reputation. Look for a link on the official website of the wallet maker and make sure the app has already been widely downloaded and well-reviewed.
Phishing works on trust. According to Sean O’Brien, principal researcher at ExpressVPN Digital Security Lab who carried out research on crypto scams in app stores:
“These apps employ phishing via wallet apps, building trust by penetrating the smartphone software supply chain. Consumers do not expect an app from the iOS or Google app stores to grab their credentials and run off with them, though the increasing presence of these apps makes it clear that there is a persistent threat where cryptocurrency is concerned.”
Therefore it is crucial not to blindly trust wallets just because they make it onto an app store. Take the time to verify the wallet is hosted by a legitimate provider before downloading it.
If you're unsure about where to purchase your crypto, you can do so right here on fozao using your debit or credit card. We don't currently have a mobile app, so when using fozao, always buy on fozao.com and beware of imitations in the app stores.